Holy Week Relections

Now that Holy Week is over, I miss it! Some of the most beautiful experiences that I have as a Christian happen during Holy Week.   When I was the pastor of the St Mary of Magada Cathedral in Fresno, CA,  it was an event filled week full of activities that reconnected us to the faith & strengthened our bonds as a community.  

Maundy Thursday – This commemorates the Last Supper Jesus had with his disciples. This coincided with the Jewish festival of Passover. Churches mark this day in various ways, including communal meals, foot washing ceremonies and bell ringing.
Good Friday – This commemorates the day of Jesus’ crucifixion and consequent death. This is the most solemn and perhaps most important day of Holy Week, with some churches observing forms of mourning practices.
Holy Saturday – This day is used to remember Jesus’ burial. This is a day for solemn reflection. Sometimes an Easter vigil may be held on Holy Saturday, while some may fast.

Pascha or Easter Sunday-The faithful recognize the resurrection. Christ is risen! Risen indeed!

I enjoy the majesty of this week. It was designed to awe the participant but with the simply symbolism. We would have the church adorned in Palms for Palm Sunday then we would strip it down on Maundy Thursday after the foot washing, draping everything in black. Anything displaying life would be covered in black linen. This powerful symbolism that Christ’s light has gone out if the world. Then we would return to church God Friday and read through the stations of the cross. Saturday morning we arrived at church early to clean everything including the altar. We would adorn everything in white and gold. Lilies would be everywhere. When the congregation arrived we would be outside. The Paschal candle would be lit the everyone else would share as the light went from candle to candle symbolizing Christ is the light of the world . We would begin singing “Alive, alive, my Jesus is alive, alive forever more 2x, alive, alive my Jesus is alive, my Jesus is alive forever more. Sing Hallelujah 2x, my Jesus is alive 2x. Sing Hallelujah 2x, my Jesus is alive forever more”. Into the church we would dance and sing. Saying, “Christ is risen”. The response is “He is risen indeed”.

Oh, and I left out the food. The bountiful vegetarian community meals we shared all week. But after the Saturday service, there was a room filled with dishes. Every possible dish including lamb.

The Easter season hopefully reignites the purpose for belief in Jesus Christ found in for God so loved the world. Love demonstrates the extreme measures that God went through to give us the opportunity to live in heaven, a place of peace. When we are loving we preserve the purpose of the season. Easter is about love that saved the world.

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Happy New Year To You!

Every January 1, we acknowledge a new year. For many it is the time to set new goals. Others use this day as a benchmark to let go of the past. This day for me means the opportunity to continue my work on self-realization. I am excited to become the person who I envision, living my purpose, and filling each moment with love, joy, peace, and happiness.

Last year I committed to blog. I enjoy the stillness of hearing my thoughts and sharing the truth that resonates from within them. Continuing to write is a goal this year with a new blog entitled, “Living Authentically”. I am also excited to add podcasting as well.

I will push on with my fitness program. I have a trainer who is a nutritionist. I began weight training and cardio workouts. I have tried to get healthy on my own and while I have had small victories, I did not start to achieve my goal until I had the right team. Sometimes a coach, mentor, or a professional is needed to help you to get achieve your dream. Be open to receiving help.

This year, I have also embraced a new adventure, philanthropy. I am partnering with several organizations and individual donors to bring love to ladies undergoing chemotherapy. A new year can bring new ideas. What new ideas do you have to positively impact your community?.

What is your resolution?

The word resolve means to settle or find a solution to.  This is the time to settle some of your dreams and begin to live them. Every year I delve deeper within to discover new inner truths about myself. I strive to become more transparent to empower others to search for their own truth. Fill yourself with love and know that God’s love engulfs you. As you watch yourself expand to become the person, you want to be, just remember to be gentle with yourself. The journey is just as important as the destination.

Your special gifts are needed in this world. Open your heart and mind to the real you. Be at peace with life and in love with yourself. You will change the world as you change yourself . May you enjoy getting to know yourself and sharing the gifts that you discover! Happy New Year to YOU!